JIMMY SKUNK IS TRUE TO HIS WORD
NC' BILLY POSSUM was having a bad night of it. When he had
grown tired of quarreling with Jimmy Skunk, he had
tried to take a nap. He had tried first one nest and
then another, but none just suited him. This was partly
because he wasn't sleepy. He was hungry and not at all
sleepy. He wished with all his heart that he hadn't
foolishly yielded to that fit of temper which had
resulted in kicking that china nest-egg out of a nest
and down on the head of Jimmy Skunk, making Jimmy so
Unc' Billy had no intention of going down while Jimmy
was there. He
 thought that Jimmy would soon grow tired
of waiting and go away. So for quite awhile Unc' Billy
didn't worry. But as it began to get towards morning he
began to grow anxious. Unc' Billy had no desire to be
found in that henhouse when Farmer Brown's boy came to
feed the biddies.
Then, too, he was hungry. He had counted on a good meal
of eggs, and not one had he found. Now he wanted to get
out to look for something else to eat, but he couldn't
without facing Jimmy Skunk, and it was better to go
hungry than to do that. Yes, Sir, it was a great deal
better to go hungry. Several times, when he thought
Jimmy was asleep, he tried to steal down. He was just
as careful not to make a sound as he could be, but
every time Jimmy knew and was waiting for him. Unc'
Billy wished that there was no such
 place as Farmer
Brown's henhouse. He wished he had never thought of
eggs. He wished many other foolish wishes, but most of
all he wished that he hadn't lost his temper and kicked
that egg down on Jimmy Skunk's head. When the first
light stole in under the door and the biddies began to
stir uneasily on their roosts Unc' Billy's anxiety
would allo0w him to keep still no longer.
"Don' yo' think we-uns better make up and get out of
here, Brer Skunk?" he ventured.
"I don't mind staying here; it's very comfortable,"
replied Jimmy, looking up at Unc' Billy in a way that
made him most uncomfortable. It was plain to see
that Jimmy hadn't forgiven him.
For some time Unc' Billy said no more, but he grew more
and more restless. You see, he knew it would soon be
 time for Farmer Brown's boy to come to let the hens out
and feed them. At last he ventured to speak again.
"Ah reckons yo' done forget something," said he.
"What is that?" asked Jimmy.
"Ah reckons yo' done fo'get that it's most time fo'
Farmer Brown's boy to come, and it won't do fo' we-uns
to be found in here," replied Unc' Billy.
"I'm not worrying about Farmer Brown's boy. He can come
as soon as he pleases," retorted Jimmy Skunk, and
That sounded like boasting, but it wasn't. No, Sir, it
wasn't, and Unc' Billy knew it. He knew that Jimmy
meant it. Unc' Billy was in despair. He didn't dare
stay, and he didn't dare go down and face Jimmy Skunk,
and there he was. It certainly had been a bad night for
Unc' Billy Possum.
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